As some destinations see the curve flattening on the number of COVID-19 cases and begin opening hotels, dining establishments, and attractions, it’s time for DMOs to get ahead of the curve in preparing the information meeting planners will need to reschedule and book groups in your destination. Here are a few tips to help prepare in gathering the information needed for upcoming conversations and for your website.
Develop a landing page linked to the meetings homepage designated for information on COVID-19. Provide the key information on convention center/hotel specifications and the resources listed below and update as needed to assist the planners in rescheduling and booking meetings for the fall and beyond.
Be the one-stop-shop planners will need now more than ever to host a meeting in your destination.
Work with hotel partners and the convention center on providing open dates and the amount of availability for rescheduling meetings that were postponed or canceled. What opportunities are there for the last quarter of 2020 and beyond? If you do not have the dates available to accommodate groups that need to reschedule for the fall, do you have a sister city you can work with to help the planner secure dates?
What are the safety precautions your convention center and hotel partners are taking to ensure attendees are safe from contracting the virus? Does your convention center have this information on their website?
TRAVEL TO THE DESTINATION
Are there any additional measures your airport is taking to prevent the spread of the virus? How will this help attendees stay safe and possibly impact attendees’ travel schedule? Does your airport have this information on their website?
GATHERING SIZE RESTRICTIONS
Understand your local government’s phased approach to lifting the restrictions on gathering size.
Understand and provide meeting planners with information on the status of when the destination is expected to be fully open for business.
FORCE MAJEURE CLAUSES
Work with your hotel partners and convention center to understand their intentions for recrafting the force majeure clauses in their contracts. Due to COVID-19, it will become the most discussed language in event contracts and will be a concern for planners moving forward.
It is now more important than ever, as new business happens in a time without total certainty, that planners will need the expertise of destination sales representatives. They need you to be the primary resource for assisting them and ensuring their organizations and attendees are safe from physical and financial harm.
Get ahead of the curve and be prepared to assist not only the planners but also your destination partners in navigating the road to normalcy.